It’s been a full year now since Gene Taylor was hired away from North Dakota State to be Kansas State’s athletic director and predictably he sat down with local reporters to do a bit of a recap/look ahead at his tenure so far in the Little Apple. Just as predictably, he was asked about his biggest task in the coming years — the when (and most importantly who) will replace legendary head coach Bill Snyder as football coach.
“I feel pretty confident,” Taylor told the Wichita Eagle, “that what has been built by Coach, what has been built by facilities and what has been built by tradition, that the pool of candidates will be strong enough that I’m not worried I am going to have to go dig in the bushes to find really good candidates.”
“They are going to be lined up. It’s just a matter of making sure we find the right one that fits here.”
Taylor added that he has urged Snyder, now 78, to remain in his current job for as long as he is physically able to. The Hall of Fame coach has said he will return to coach in 2018 but it is a decision he seems to make on a yearly basis in December or January, especially in light of being diagnosed with throat cancer.
As far as who will wind up taking over, that’s a line Taylor’s non-remark remark threaded carefully. Snyder has long wanted his son and longtime assistant Sean Snyder to take the position but others from Jim Leavitt to Brent Venables to Bret Bielema have been mentioned as possible successors as well. It certainly sounds as though the Wildcats’ AD has a solid list to choose from when the day eventually comes but Taylor and others are no doubt hoping that time doesn’t come anytime soon.
A month and a half after losing an assistant to a Power Five program, Philip Montgomery has found a replacement.
In a press release, Tulsa announced that Carlton Buckels has been hired by Montgomery as part of his 10-man Golden Hurricane coaching staff. Buckels will serve as Montgomery’s safeties coach.
A former defensive back at LSU and a Louisiana native, Buckels started his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban. This past season, Buckels was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Div. III Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.
In between, Buckels’ coaching career included stops at Delta State, Southeastern Louisiana, New Mexico State, North Texas and Baylor. He spent six seasons (2011-16) as the cornerbacks coach with Art Briles‘ Bears, with his time in Waco coinciding with a portion of Montgomery’s stint as BU’s offensive coordinator.
Below is Montgomery’s statement on the addition of Buckels:
Coach Buckels is a well-respected coach. He brings solid experience and knowledge to our secondary. He’s a great players coach and is a guy that I believe will fit in well with our staff. As we do some different things schematically, Carlton brings new and fresh ideas to help us continue moving in the direction we want to go.”
“We’ve expanded our recruiting blueprint into Louisiana the last couple of years, and I’m excited that Coach Buckels can really help us in the recruitment of the state. He’s originally from Louisiana, played at LSU and has great ties in the state that will allow us to gain a strong foothold into Louisiana. It’s a state that has a ton of talent, not just skilled talent, but younger big kids that would have an opportunity to help us on the football field.
“Coach Buckels is a great family man. We’re excited to have Carlton and his family be part of our Tulsa football family.
In the end, there’s nothing to see here. Move on.
Nearly a month ago, Dalvin Warmack announced via Twitter that he has decided to transfer from Kansas State and continue his collegiate playing career at an undetermined elsewhere. Monday, the running back took to the same social media website to announce that he “will be returning to K-State for my final season.”
Warmack said he came to his decision “[a]fter having the chance to build a relationship with Coach Hickson and seeing the changes that have been made.” Eric Hickson is a former Wildcats football player who was hired in January as running backs coach.
This past season, Warmack ran for a career-high 252 yards and three touchdowns. Those totals were good for third amongst K-State running backs.
Thus far in his career, Warmack’s ran for 527 yards and three touchdowns on 101 carries. He also added six receptions for another 76 yards.
Former Kansas State head coach Jim Dickey died on Saturday night at the age of 84.
A Texas native, Dickey played quarterback at Houston in the 1950’s and started his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater. From there he took assistant jobs at Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas and North Carolina before landing the K-State job ahead of the 1978 season. He went 25-53-2 in seven-plus seasons on the job, which doesn’t look like much at first blush until one takes stock of where the Wildcat football program was at the time.
Dickey took Kansas State to the Independence Bowl in 1982, a 14-3 loss to Wisconsin, which was the first bowl appearance in program history. He was named the Big 8’s Coach of the Year for that season.
After back-to-back 3-win seasons in 1983 and ’84, he was let go after an 0-2 start to the 1985 campaign. The program would remain historically down until future College Football Hall of Famer Bill Snyder built the program up in the 1990’s.
Dickey finished out his career as an assistant on the pre-Steve Spurrier Florida teams before retiring in 1989. He lived at a rest home in Houston at the time of his passing, according to the Manhattan Mercury. Dickey’s son, Darrell Dickey, is the former head coach at North Texas and currently the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M.
The shakeup on the defensive side of Bill Snyder‘s Kansas State coaching staff is officially official.
Friday evening, K-State confirmed that defensive coordinator Tom Hayes has decided to step down from his post and retire. Hayes had spent the past six seasons as the Wildcats’ coordinator, and ends a coaching career that spans more than four decades.
As had previously been reported, the football program also confirmed in the same release that Brian Norwood has been hired as Hayes’ replacement. Norwood had spent the past three seasons as co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach/associate head coach.
The official titles Norwood, who also had previous stops in the Big 12 at Baylor and Texas Tech, will hold at KSU are co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
Holding the title of defensive coordinator will be Blake Seiler, who was promoted to the job after serving as linebackers coach for the Wildcats this past season. Prior to that, Seiler, who played his college football at K-State, coached defensive ends at his alma mater from 2013-16.
“We are very fortunate to have coaches like Blake Seiler, who is well prepared to step into the coordinator role,” Snyder said in a statement. “Blake is a bright young man, quick learner, hard worker and well-received and trusted by our players. He helped coordinate our defense this past year with emphasis on our run defense. Blake is highly respected by our staff and players for his values as well as his passionate teaching. …
“I am so very pleased to have Brian Norwood join our staff as our secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator. He comes to us highly recommended by many coaches who I highly respect. Brian is truly a K-State type of person. He is a caring, loyal, genuine, disciplined, hard-working and responsible person with the highest value system – a great family man and a man of faith. We are honored to have he and his wonderful wife Tiffiney, along with his children, join our Wildcat family.”